- It's about making good decisions
- Who is it for?
- What does Springboard involve?
- What can I expect as a result of attending Springboard?
- How do I know it works?
- Guest speakers
- Support network
- Springboard for researchers
- Graduate reunion evenings
- Springboard mentoring scheme
- Springboard trainers
- Impact of Springboard and Evaluation
- How to apply
It's about making good decisions
Springboard is an award winning personal and professional development programme, designed and developed by women for women.It has been created specifically to enable women to achieve their full potential both at work and in their personal lives. It is designed for women from all backgrounds, ages and stages of their lives. Women are less well represented in senior roles with in the University. Springboard provides women with a means by which we aim to address this concern.
Who is it for?
Developed originally for the BBC, the Springboard Women's Development Programme has been successfully used by over 180,000 women world-wide. Springboard is for all women at any age or stage in life and from all backgrounds. We believe that women have a lot to learn from each other and can thrive in a supportive environment. Academics, administrators, clerical staff, researchers and technicians have all benefited from the Oxford Springboard Programme. Some have been promoted; others have resolved difficulties at home; many have taken the first steps towards realising their full potential.
What does Springboard involve?
There are six key ingredients in the Springboard programme:
- four action-packed one-day workshops spread over three months
- a follow-up workshop, 6 months on
- a thought-provoking, lively and practical personal workbook
- opportunities for networking with other women
- the provision of real, relevant and aspiring role models
- mentoring scheme for Springboard graduates by Springboard graduates
Between workshops you will need to work through your workbook which will take approximately three hours. The workbook is complemented and supported by the workshops. It is filled with real life examples, practical advice and exercises.
Some of the topics and objectives covered in the workshops are:
- What you've got going for you
Capitalise on everything you’ve got going for you for your future action i.e. your achievements, qualities and strengths, qualifications and skills.
- Who are you?
Assess who you are now
To make the most of the best of you
- Who have you got going for you?
How do other people help or hinder you?
Maximising support from your relationships
- The assertive you and using assertiveness positively
Build your confidence and skills in being assertive
Putting assertiveness skills into practice to help you achieve your goals
- Setting your goals
Building on your success
- Managing your image and visibility
Promote a positive image of you
Achieve the visibility you need to match your values and achieve your goals.
What can I expect as a result of attending Springboard?
Each result relates to the objectives each woman sets herself on the first workshop. Many women use the programme to get results at work, such as new qualifications, promotions, new skills, a new attitude to change and a massive boost in confidence.
Others focus on results in their personal life, such as sorting out difficult relationships, improving health, dealing with stress and gaining a work/life balance.
Some women steam up their career ladder after attending the Springboard Women’s Development Programme, whilst others stay in the same job but with a new sense of purpose and a more positive attitude.
The managers of participants are usually delighted with the changes in their staff. They say women are more focussed and confident after attending Springboard. They bring their managers solutions instead of problems, are more positive and have improved communication skills.
How do I know it works?
Here’s what we have learnt from women employed at the University so far:
- 73 % feel that there has been an increase in their confidence during meetings
- 82 % report an increase in their level of confidence when dealing with their manager
- 73% said they contribute well to the effectiveness of the team they are in
- 72 % report voicing their opinions more easily
- 80 % believe themselves to be more assertive
- 54 % report better relationships in their personal lives
- 83 % identify clearer career goals
- 29 % have applied to have their job re-graded, 65 % of them successfully
- 38 % applied for a higher graded job, 61 % of them successfully
- Of the 9 % who left the University, 40 % left for a higher graded job
- 64 % initiated other changes to their role as a result of participating in Springboard.
Read more (624kb) about what our Springboard 'graduates' have said about the programme.
Springboard is based on four workshops, run over a university term and held a month apart. Participants will meet other women across the University and learn about dealing with their own strengths and weaknesses and about topics such as image and assertiveness. You will also get help with identifying and achieving your personal objectives, whether these are big steps like winning promotion or smaller but no less important steps like seeking career or relationship guidance.
The follow-up workshop is held six months after your Springboard programme. It is an opportunity to meet friends, to engage in some fun exercises and activities aimed at supporting your personal and professional development, and to share successes and achievements.
At each workshop there will be a guest speaker drawn from women with a variety of backgrounds and careers within the University. You will hear from women who work in clerical, technical, or administrative roles as well as from researchers and academics. Speakers will talk about their working and personal lives and will share tips on how they manage these and what they have learned along the way. Their experience and achievements encourage and inspire.
Springboard participants work together to support each other through 'home groups'. These groups are set up to enable you to keep in contact with each other between workshops. So if you get stuck or are uncertain about anything there is someone to help. There will also be opportunities to build networks for the future with women outside your home group.
If you are interested in networking more widely the Oxford Women's Network, operated by the Diversity and Equality Unit, exists as a networking and discussion forum for all women academic and contract research staff, support staff and administrators in the collegiate University.
If you have completed the Springboard programme with a previous employer and would like to join the Oxford Springboard e-mail list and wider network please contact Liisa O'Brien.
Springboard for researchers
There is also a researcher specific programme which is offered by the MPLS Division for doctoral research students in their second year and above, and to all postdoctoral researchers, in all Academic Divisions. This programme has been tailored to develop core personal effectiveness skills in the context of the research environment and research careers.
These skills include motivation, creativity, flexibility, networking, team working and taking ownership for one’s own career progression and skills development. It provides the opportunity to work with other female research students and research staff from across the University on a programme that focuses on developing your skills and career goals, and also encompasses work on your personal life. The researcher specific programme has been tailored to develop core personal effectiveness skills in the context of the research environment and research careers. These skills include motivation, creativity, flexibility, networking, team working and taking ownership for one’s own career progression and skills development.
If you would like to find out more about this programme, please email Alison Trinder.
Graduate reunion evenings
Each term we hold a Springboard graduate reunion for all those who have completed the Springboard programme and normally takes place between 5.30-8.30pm. These are opportunities for graduates to catch up with friends and to engage in a fun activity as well as to meet other women from across the university. Comedy workshops, basics of yoga, coaching sessions, swap shops and summer picnics are a selection of what we’ve done so far. Graduates are invited to the event through an email which is sent out to the mailing list.
Springboard mentoring scheme
Springboard 'graduates' are eligible to join a mentoring scheme developed especially for them. You can join as a mentee or as a mentor or both. In order to access the mentor profiles you will need to log into the Springboard mentoring page. You will be given the username and password.
We recommend anyone interested in attending Springboard to come along to one of our ‘taster’ sessions. The Springboard trainers will tell you about the programme and there will be an opportunity for you to take part in the sort of activities that attending a Springboard programme would involve.
The next taster sessions will take place on:
- Monday 30 September 2013, 9.30 am - 11.00 am
- Wednesday 22 January 2014, 9.30 am - 11.00 am
- Thursday 29 May 2014, 9.30 am - 11.00 am
To book your place, please contact Liisa O'Brien.
Springboard is delivered, to great acclaim, through a specially trained network of professional trainers. Our licensed trainers for the Oxford Springboard programme are:
Hannah Boschen, Professional Development Officer at the Learning Institute;
Clare Fletcher, Publisher at the Voltaire Foundation;
Peggy Frith, Deputy Director of Clinical Studies, Oxford University Medical School;
Julie Hamilton, Research Assistant, Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art;
Judith Secker, Professional Development Adviser at the Oxford Learning Institute;
Tessa Shaw, Reader Services Librarian at Queens College;
Alison Trinder, Professional Development Officer for Mathematical, Physical, & Life Sciences Division.
Impact of Springboard and Evaluation
In 2011 Hannah Boschen at the Learning Institute conducted an evaluation of the impact of Springboard on those women who have taken part in it. Impact of Springboard (172kb)
You will be asked to contribute to evaluation.